Friday, 4 May 2018

Cleansing the Stables?

by Les May

ON the evening of the local elections a lady who had spent the afternoon watching the antics of two Tory ‘number takers’ at a Castleton ward polling station described them to me as ‘a couple of daft lads’.  Later that day when the votes were counted one of those ‘daft lads’ came close to unseating the Labour incumbent, Aasim Rashid, whose majority was only 41 votes which was by far the smallest in any ward. How could this have happened?

It too easy to point to the report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and the subsequent resignation of Richard Farnell.  But I believe the problem goes much deeper.   Farnell made the mistake of supporting the gone, but unlamented, ex MP Simon Danczuk, for far too long.  From the last day of 2015 until Labour refused to endorse his candidature in mid 2017 Danczuk had the support of Farnell and his cronies, which included some of the people who still hold the strings of power in the Rochale Labour group.  As a result the present regime just looks like ‘Farnell Lite’.

Danczuk brought to Rochdale an unpleasant style of politics.  If Labour in Rochdale is to avoid any more election night scares in what should be a safe Labour seat, it is going to have to show that it has broken completely with the past.  That means clearing out of the seats of power all the councillors tainted by too close an association with Danczuk.  Are they prepared to do it or will short term ‘horse trading’ open the door to the Tories in the long run?


No comments: